Lorence Wenke and Jerry Vander Roest say they want to focus on the issues as they compete for the Republican nomination for the 63rd state House seat.
But the hostility between the two is obvious.
At a candidate forum Wednesday, Vander Roest made so many digs about his opponent that Larry DeShazor, a state representative candidate for the 61st District, quipped after Vander Roest left early, ``I hope I never have to run against that guy.''
Wenke wasn't at the event. But the next day during a 10-minute conversation with a Kalamazoo Gazette reporter, Wenke made references to Vander Roest's employment history, the condition of his front lawn and his 2003 arrest in a prostitution sting.
``He's had government jobs all his life and he acts like government is the enemy,'' Wenke said.
No, countered Vander Roest, government is not the enemy. He said liberal Republicans like Wenke who keep voting for more taxes are the problem.
The campaign is a rematch of the contentious primary two years ago. In that race, Wenke spent nearly $286,000, including $240,000 of his own money, to win by 90 votes, while Vander Roest spent $17,000.
One of the most divisive issues in 2004 was that of gay marriage. Wenke had expressed his support for gay civil unions and Vander Roest argued for a state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
The Gazette has an interesting article about the race between Lorence Wenke and Jerry VanderRoest in the 63rd state house district.